There can’t be a car lover alive who hasn’t dreamed of building a car of his or her own. Most will never get close to it, but that doesn’t prevent the conceit lurking within us that, given the tools, we could do it better than the professionals.
We never could, of course. Just understanding the legal constraints on a modern car design is years of work for dozens of people – and that’s before you start studying the true needs of customers in a big market sector, or creating something decent at a price they could afford. The process needs a depth of expertise we simple users just don’t understand.
That’s why we dreamed up this project: to understand and help you to understand more about how a car is created. It’s complex, so we’re dividing the exercise into three parts published two weeks apart. It will culminate in the reveal of a comprehensive set of digital illustrations and a real, live, three-dimensional model in our traditional Christmas double issue in three weeks’ time…
In this first tranche of the story, we discuss the key parameters of the project, the creative team, some early design and engineering decisions and the name we’ve chosen for the car. Next time, we’ll get much more serious about dimensions, design and mechanicals. In the third piece, you’ll hear about the final detail of the job, the kind of info that – for the sake of a billion or so – could take our car to production.
It would have been too easy to propose some other-worldly 200-off supercar. Such creations don’t have to please many people, there’s no requirement to meet the cost and weight constraints of ordinary cars, they can cover a multitude of sins with spectacular shapes and high horsepower numbers, and they usually benefit most from low-volume get-outs on crash testing and clean air legislation. In short, they hardly belong to the real world.